DTCP overhaul aims to boost urban development across Tamil Nadu

More qualified planners will be appointed and revenue sources for urban development authorities across the state will be augmented through the restructuring exercise, a top DTCP official told TNIE.
The state had earlier planned to create a common pool of town planners for DTCP, CMDA and local bodies, but dropped it owing to feasibility issues
The state had earlier planned to create a common pool of town planners for DTCP, CMDA and local bodies, but dropped it owing to feasibility issues Photo | Express

CHENNAI: Only 5% of Tamil Nadu, excluding Chennai, has planned urban growth as most other parts of the state do not have master plans. In a bid to ensure that other parts of the state also benefit from planned urban development, the Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP), the nodal agency for town planning in the state, is being restructured, Housing Minister S Muthusamy has told the Assembly.

More qualified planners will be appointed and revenue sources for urban development authorities across the state will be augmented through the restructuring exercise, a top DTCP official told TNIE.

On the lines of CMDA, the state has six planning authorities in Hosur, Tiruppur, Salem, Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchy. By restructuring DTCP, the authorities will draw up plans for towns like flood-ravaged Thoothukudi and ensure restrictions in seismic prone zones while constructing buildings.

The institution for the last 20 to 30 years was limited to only granting approvals and the department hardly had qualified town planners unlike Chennai to look after sectors like transport and masterplan, he added. This comes after Housing Minister S Muthusamy made the announcement to restructure DTCP on Friday.

“Firstly, we will be hiring a consultant to study which all posts are viable in DTCP and is in tune with the current urban planning. Since there have been huge changes with the coming of electric vehicles, hydrogen emerging as a fuel, disaster resilient planning, focus will be on bringing reforms in planning, and re-engineer manpower,” the official said.

It may be noted that Thoothukudi, Madurai and Tirunelveli are seeing lot of investments as new projects are taking shape.

Interestingly, DTCP, which has a sanctioned strength of 801, is facing shortage of qualified planners. Majority of the staff are recruited on a temporary basis.

According to sources, urban local bodies do not have town planners with qualifications. The restructuring of DTCP will ensure adequate manpower for office operations by identifying staffing needs, particularly planners and technical persons, and developing recruitment strategies to attract qualified professionals.

“By refining DTCP’s vision and strategic formulation, the goal is to effectively plan and execute urban development projects. This restructuring will enable better coordination, resource allocation and policy implementation, fostering sustainable urban growth and enhancing livability standards across designated urban areas,” the official said.

Earlier, the state had proposed to create a common pool of town planners well acquainted with development control regulations for CMDA, DTCP and local bodies to facilitate planned urban and rural development. But this proposal was dropped as it was not feasible to merge the town planning departments with local bodies where engineers double up as town planners.

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